Global Politics

Zimbabwe run-off election

There are whole large areas that are no-go areas that journalists can't go to and the American and other diplomats went out to one of these areas and they went into rural villages where they saw people who had been badly beaten. The supporters of Robert Mugabe tried to prevent them from leaving and they said no, you can't question us, we're doing something legal. They undid the police barricade. (In the process this group of diplomats documented a lot of evidence. one diplomat talked about how one 80 year old woman was hit in the head with an axe because he two grandsons were opposition activists, not because of anything she did. In the middle of accumulating this evidence there was a standoff between the diplomats and the Zanu PF officers. It sounds like a dire confrontation.) It's important because ordinary Zimbabweans can't do that, but the diplomats said we don't have to take orders from you, you don't have authority over us. then these bullies backed off and the confrontation went on. (What else are you hearing about the opposition's efforts?) Officers of his party have been beaten or killed. The government has tried to accuse him of treason. On the other hand he has to go back and say I'm challenging Robert Mugabe so it's a volatile time in Zimbabwe right now.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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